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How are you adapting?

Happy Monday! Today I write you from my kitchen table as I keep an eye on my two little humans just trying their best just to feel better. Both have come down with some kind of bug and had a rough night last night. They were up several times during the night with painful bellies that were urging the yummy food from the day before to exit the way it entered … so I guess you could say that, today, we are all just trying to adapt to our current circumstances. Which is a great segway into today’s NLP Presupposition that “Behavior is geared towards adaptation.” Sometimes our behavior, like in the unfavorable circumstance above, is quite understandable. The kids are sick, we are home, not a whole lot of anything is going to happen today. Mom’s on alert in case they need anything, on standby with bucket in hand reviewing all the natural remedies she can think of and they are cuddled up with their favorite snuggly, on a heap of pillows and under as many blankets as they can snag. We all get that! But, what about behavior we don’t understand? Take, for instance, a young man in a bad neighborhood who learns to live on the streets by stealing or hustling others. Do you think his behavior would be understood by someone who comes from a wealthy background and lives in an upstanding neighborhood who hasn’t ever felt the pain of hardship? Is stealing or something he does because it was the only thing he knows how to do or because it’s his way of adapting to his environment? I’m not at all saying that steeling is good, but can we not recognize that if one were able to escape that environment, or trade places with someone else, that our behavior would be different? Does this story sound familiar? It should! It was a great movie from 1983 (yep, I just dated myself) called Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Although it was just a movie, it’s an excellent example that all behavior is geared towards adaptation. If you haven’t seen the move (or even if you have) it would be worth the watch! The movie was an experiment as to whether or not ones environment (what they have adapted to) is their reality. Remove them from that environment and find out if their behavior will change. I will leave it at that so as not to spoil the ending if you’ve not watched it. Anyway, I’m going to keep it short today, because, sick kiddos, but I’d like you to be curious the next time someone acts in a way that seems different, difficult or you just can’t quite understand why. Ask yourself what it is that they are trying to adapt to? What obstacles are preventing them from making better decisions? Their reality is defined by their perception of the world and the behavior they exhibit is appropriate to their reality. What is their reality? What circumstances have they had to go through where that behavior became an adaptation that was learned given the context of their situation? When we can step back and remove the person from the behavior, we can begin to feel more compassionate toward them, we can get a better view of what is going on and we can begin to understand that it’s not the person that we dislike, it’s the behavior. Give it a try and let me know how it shifts your thoughts. And remember to check out my favorite things below!


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I'm sure you can find it on a streaming network somewhere, but if you can't, here it is! This is a comical representation of "behavior is geared towards adaptation."

How would your behavior change if you were to trade places with either of these characters? Which character would you prefer and why? Or, perhaps, you now understand that you can adapt to become the best version of you in any situation.

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